China’s health officials in Hubei has reported today (Thursday) that 242 more people have died from the deadly coronavirus COVID-19 as of Wednesday. This particular record is said to be the highest reported in a day pushing the death toll across the country to 1,355.
Over the 24-hour period to midnight on Wednesday, the commissioner in charge of health also reported a huge jump in new cases of 14,840 infected people.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, as China is witnessing no end to this deadly virus, the head of the Communist party in Hubei and including other local officials have all been fired.
The province of Hubei can be said to be at the center of the outbreak, which is believed to have originated from a now-closed seafood market in the capital of Wuhan late last year.
Former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong has been appointed as the new secretary of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, replacing Jiang Chaoliang, the report said, citing the party’s central committee.
Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said: “It was expected that somebody’s head was on the chopping block.”
“There’s been a lot of criticism about the information not being so forthcoming” from Hubei officials, she added.
Earlier, the Communist Party chief of the health commission of Hubei, Zhang Jin, and its director, Liu Yingzi, were also replaced.
During the SARS (or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in China in 2003, the government also fired Zhang Wenkang as health minister and Meng Xuenong as mayor of Beijing. Zhang was replaced by Wu Yi, while Meng was replaced by his brother-in-law, Wang Qishan, who is now the vice president of China.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA